A comment during Maine supreme court arguments on ranked-choice voting offers a window into where many fear that things are headed – more legal challenges. Justice Donald Alexander questioned whether the system that lets voters rank candidates could violate the “one man, one vote” principle. His colleagues suggested that’s an argument for later. The court is currently considering other constitutional questions. But his suggestion underscores critics’ worries that more lawsuits will be filed if the voting system is used in the June 12 primaries.
“The brief exchange indicates the expectation, or fear, that the case will come back after an election because the loser will probably try to get it overturned,” said Jim Burke, a professor at the University of Maine School of Law.
The voting system under consideration would allow Mainers to rank candidates on the ballot in order of preference. A candidate with a majority of votes wins. If there’s no majority, the last-place candidate’s second-place votes are reallocated to the remaining candidates.